Resolutions of the Second Ordinary Session of the fifth Parliament

 

The second Ordinary Session of the fifth legislature of the PAP concluded on 17 May 2019 in Midrand, South Africa. Herewith in extenso the resolutions of this gathering:

 

Resolution on granting special observer status to the federal national council of the United Arab Emirates

 

THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT,

 

CONSIDERING Article 17 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, establishes the Pan-African Parliament to ensure the full participation of the people of Africa in the development and economic integration of the continent;

 

CONSIDERING ALSO the objectives of the Pan-African Parliament stipulated in Article 3 of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament, and Rule 4 (c) (ii) and 4 (i)  of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament, which empowers the Pan-African Parliament to strengthen continental solidarity, cooperation and development, as well as carry out any other function that may enhance the work of the Union;

 

PURSUANT to the mandate of the Pan African Parliament Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolutions set out in Rule 26(4)(b) of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan African Parliament to “consider conventions and protocols linking the parliament with regional and international institutions and report to parliament”, and consider matters of developmental policies of cooperation and international relations;

 

RECALLING the AU vision of “An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law;

 

PAYING TRIBUTE to the role played by Pan African Parliament in strengthening parliamentary cooperation at national, regional and international level to ensure peace, stability and the development of the African people;

 

NOTING that peace and stability, good governance, democracy and human rights are foundations for development of societies and that the Pan-African Parliament in collaboration with like-minded parliaments has the role to promote the principles of human rights, good governance and democracy in Africa, promote peace, security and stability, facilitate cooperation and development in Africa;

 

IN ACCORDANCE WITH Rule 77 (4) of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament, which empowers Parliament to confer, upon request, special observer status on Parliaments outside Africa, other Organs of the African Union or international agencies whose objectives and principles are consistent with those of the Union;

 

 

NOW HEREBY RECOMMENDS:

  1. The granting of special observer status to the Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates;

 

  1. The Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution to continue to collaborate with the Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates in areas that are mutually beneficial to the PAP and the people of Africa.                               

 

Adopted at Midrand on 17 May 2019.

 

Resolution on Concrete Measures for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights Of Persons with Albinism in Africa

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PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT

 

RECOGNIZING Article 17 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union which establishes the Pan-African Parliament, as read together with Rule 3 (a) of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament;

 

STRONGLY REAFFIRMING its support for Resolution PAP.4/PLN/RES/05/MAY on Persons with Albinism in Africa; Resolution ACHPR/Res.263 2013 on the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism; Resolution ACHPR/Res.349 2016 on the attacks on persons with albinism in Malawi; and Resolution ACHPR/Res.373 2017 on the Regional Action Plan on Albinism;

 

FURTHER REAFFIRMING support for Resolution 23/13 of the Human Rights Council on attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism, and General Assembly Resolution A/RES/69/170 establishing International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June;

 

COGNISANT of the Memorandum of Understanding between this Parliament and the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and the collaborative working relationship between these entities and the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism whose mandate is established by the Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/37/5;

 

DEEPLY DISTURBED by the ongoing systematic attacks against persons with albinism in many parts of the continent in particular against women and children with albinism, including entrenched prejudices, stigmatisation and social exclusion, as well as multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination which impede the enjoyment of human rights of persons with albinism;

 

NOTING that only 5 African Union member states have adopted and domesticated the Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa; and the urgent need for more member states to undertake and implement specific measures and strategies to protect the rights of persons with albinism;

 

UNANIMOUSLY CONVINCED of the urgent necessity of co-ordinating and intensifying concrete efforts for the effective protection and promotion of the rights of persons with albinism across the continent, including through country action plans premised upon the Regional Action Plan on Albinism that systematically addresses response to violations against persons with albinism;

 

IN ACCORDANCE WITH Rule 5 (d) of the Rules of Procedures of the PAP, which authorises the PAP to make recommendations and formulate resolutions on any matter relating to the African Union and its organs, Regional Economic Communities and their respective organs, Member States and their organs and institutions;

 

URGES MEMBERS STATES OF THE AFRICAN UNION TO IMMEDIATELY:

 

  1. Adopt and fully implement, directly or through national action plans, the Regional Action Plan on albinism in Africa which lays out specific measures for addressing attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism through prevention, protection, accountability as well as equality and non-discrimination measures;

 

  1. Prioritize all measures to ensure the safety and security of persons with albinism and their families; and ensure that appropriate psychosocial, medical, legal and socioeconomic support is available for victims of attacks and their surviving relatives;

 

  1. Fund adequately and continuously, measures identified in the Regional Action Plan on Albinism, national action plans, and all relevant specific measures to promote the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism;

 

  1. Ensure that persons with albinism enjoy the highest attainable standard of health including by listing sunscreen as an essential medicine; producing it locally through existing modalities of best practices; and ensuring quality, availability and accessibility to these products including to sun-protective clothing, at no cost to persons with albinism.

 

  1. Further ensure that persons with albinism as a constituent of persons with disabilities are provided with reasonable accommodation for vision impairment at school and place of work including adaptive devices such as monocular, special glasses and large print materials

 

  1. Engage in continuous, long term awareness raising campaigns throughout the country on albinism, human rights and harmful practices related to manifestation of belief in witchcraft, with special emphasis on rural and border communities

 

  1. Involve persons with albinism in the development and implementation of all measures affecting them, and ensure they have political participation in crucial and relevant spheres of government

 

  1. Ensure the regular and systematic collection of -disaggregated national data on persons with albinism that captures, amongst others, their age, sex, ethnicity and socio-economic situation including housing conditions, health, education and employment to inform policy interventions and ensure their inclusion in appropriate social welfare schemes and poverty alleviation programs;

 

  1. Integrate a gender perspective in all policy-making and programmatic efforts targeting people with albinism to ensure that interventions specifically address intersecting issues relating to women with albinism

 

 

AND HEREBY RESOLVES TO:

 

  1. Undertake an advocacy campaign on the rights of persons with albinism on International Albinism Awareness Day on June 13;
  2. Further undertake ongoing awareness raising on the rights of persons with albinism beyond International Albinism Awareness Day, leveraging on existing platforms, meetings and events convened by the PAP and the African Union as well as its regional bodies;
  3. Issue statements to condemn violations of rights of persons with albinism across the continent continually and as they arise;
  4. Develop guidelines on harmful practices related to manifestation of belief in witchcraft, which shall only become operational upon adoption by the PAP, in order to entrench the guidelines into existing legal and non-legal frameworks on harmful practices as well as guide efforts aimed at mitigating their impact on all victims, including persons with albinism;
  5. Urge the African Union Commission to endorse the Regional Action Plan and to include it as an annex to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa in order to facilitate entrenchment, implementation and follow up among Member States of the AU;
  6. Encourage African Union Member States to adopt, domesticate and implement the Regional Action Plan;
  7. Urge Member States of the African Union to undertake through or beyond the Regional Action Plan, legal, policy and programmatic reform efforts for the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with albinism within their respective countries;
  8. Further urge AU Member States to continually undertake specific measures to improve the living conditions and overall socio-economic welfare of persons with albinism in their respective countries;
  9. Advocate for continent-wide ratification, by Member States of the African Union, of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa
  10. Enhance cooperation between the PAP and all AU organs, particularly the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in order to integrate their efforts to promote and protect the rights of persons with albinism in Africa, including by ensuring participation of persons with albinism in relevant policy processes.

 

 

 

Adopted at Midrand on 17 May 2019.

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION ON STATELESSNESS

 

 

The Pan-African Parliament, 

 

 

  1. Noting that millions of people in the world, including hundreds of thousands in Africa are not considered to be nationals by any State and are thus stateless, which limits their enjoyment of the full range of human rights, and undermines development, peace and security in the continent;

 

  1. Having regard to article 5 of Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which implies the right to nationality, essential to the enjoyment of other fundamental rights and freedoms under the Charter;

 

  1. Having regard to article 6 of the 1990 African Charter for the Rights and the Welfare of the Child that provides for the acquisition of nationality of the country of birth if the child would otherwise be rendered stateless;

 

  1. Having regard to the report on the Right to Nationality in Africa, issued by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in 2014, that highlights the gaps in the nationality legislations enacted in Africa, and the importance to develop and adopt an African instrument on the right to a nationality;

 

  1. Having regard to the centrality of the right to nationality, as a fundamental Human Right essential to the enjoyment of other Human rights and closely interrelated with the Rule of Law, Peace, International  Security and Development,  and  therefore a priority for the African Union;

 

  1. Having regard to the UNHCR global mandate to identify and protect stateless persons, and prevent and reduce statelessness;

 

  1. Having regard to the UNHCR Global Campaign #Ibelong to Eradicate Statelessness by 2024and the outstanding efforts deployed by ECOWAS and its member States to implement this campaign in West Africa;

 

  1. Welcomes the commitment of the African Union’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government, expressed at its 32nd Ordinary Session, to develop a clear policy framework to address the challenge of the stateless persons hosted in the continent;

 

  1. Welcomes the African Union’s efforts on the draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Specific Aspects of the Right to a Nationality and the Eradication of Statelessness in Africa, in line with decisions of the African Union’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government;

 

  1. Urges all Member States concerned to accede to these two conventions and to work to support the adoption, in 2019, of the draft Protocol on the Right to Nationality and the Eradication of Statelessness in Africa;

 

  1. Urges Member States to find immediate solutions for stateless persons and persons at risk of statelessness so that they can obtain a, or confirm their, nationality, and to prevent statelessness by addressing its root causes. In this regard, the Pan-African Parliament urges Member States to:

 

  • In line with article 6 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, reform nationality laws to ensure that every child born or found on a state’s territory will acquire the nationality of that state if the child would otherwise be stateless, and further reform nationality laws to eliminate all forms of discrimination that constitute a leading cause of statelessness in Africa;
  • Improve access to birth registration, irrespective of the parent(s)’ immigration status, and raise awareness of such registration among stateless persons and persons at risk of statelessness, and establish accessible procedures for late birth registration; and
  • Adopt legislation that facilitates the recognition and documentation of nationality through registration or simplified naturalisation procedures.

 

  1. Notes the Economic Community of West African States’ Banjul Plan of Action on the Eradication of Statelessness 2017-2024 and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region’s 2017 Declaration on the Eradication of Statelessness;

 

  1. Urges the Regional Economic Communities that have not yet done so to conduct regional research on the prevalence, causes and consequences of statelessness and to coordinate actions to develop comprehensive regional strategies to address statelessness; and

 

  1. Reaffirms the importance of all Member States committing to eradicate statelessness in Africa by 2024 and urges them to make concrete pledges in this regard at the October 2019 high-level international event on statelessness in Geneva.

 

 

 

Adopted at Midrand on 17 May 2019.

 

Resolution on drafting a model double taxation agreement for Africa

 

 

THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT,

 

Considering Article 17 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union on establishing the Pan-African Parliament in order to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent,

 

Considering Article 3 of the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament and Rule 4 (a) of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament, which empower the Pan-African Parliament to facilitate the implementation of policies, objectives and programmes of the African Union, and oversee their effective implementation,

 

Recalling the special declaration of the Conference of the Union on illicit financial flows at its twenty-fourth ordinary session, in January 2015, in Addis Ababa and the recommendations of the report of the High-Level Panel on illicit financial flows from Africa,

 

Noting with concern that most African countries do not have a tax convention with their real or potential investors and business partners, and that, when such conventions exist, they are unfavourable to African countries due to weak domestic laws, limited exchanges of information, excessive tax incentives and limited technical capacity to deal with the technically sophisticated cross-border transactions of multinational enterprises (MNEs),

 

Noting that corporate tax revenue in Africa is lower than value added tax and personal income tax, resulting in unfair tax systems where rich MNEs pay less tax at the expense of poor citizens, and low tax revenue collection on the continent,

 

Appreciating the technical presentations of representatives of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL), highlighting the problem of double taxation in Africa, as well as the need to adopt a model double taxation agreement for Africa,

 

Believing the need for African countries to adopt a coherent and harmonized approach in their tax negotiations, in order to foster greater tax certainty and a better environment for investment and trade,

 

Believing also that a model double taxation agreement can be an effective tool to promote fair trade and investment between African States, on the one hand, and between African States and non-African States on the other hand,

 

Facilitating the implementation of decisions of the African Union on eliminating illicit financial flows from Africa and addressing low corporate tax revenue, resulting in an unfair tax system and low tax revenue collection on the continent,

 

 

Under the provisions of Rule 5(b) (c) (d) of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament, which empowers the Pan-African Parliament to, inter alia, organise debate, discuss, express an opinion, make recommendations and take resolutions on any matters relating to the African Union and its organs, Regional Economic Communities, Member States and their organs and institutions;

           

HEREBY

  1. Approves the request made to the Pan-African Parliament to draft a model double taxation agreement for Africa;

 

  1. Gives the Permanent Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs the mandate to lead the process of drafting a model double taxation agreement for Africa and to submit it to Plenary for consideration;

 

  1. Welcomes the collaboration with and technical support of ATAF and AUCIL, and requests the Permanent Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs to continue to collaborate with these institutions and other stakeholders on drafting a model double taxation agreement for Africa;

 

  1. Entrusts the Permanent Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs to ensure that the relevant departments and directorates of the African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities, national tax administrations and civil society organizations, should actively participate in the process of drafting a model double taxation agreement for Africa.

 

 

Adopted at Midrand on 17 May 2019.

  

Resolution on the African Union Theme for the Year 2019

“The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Pan-African Parliament’s Contribution Towards Finding Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”

 

 

THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT,

 

Noting the resolutions, declarations and recommendations of the United Nations on the status of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons,

 

Noting also the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, and the 2009 African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa,

 

Recognizing the existence of national and international legal frameworks concerning refugees, displaced persons and returnees,

 

Noting with concern that violent conflicts and the effects of climate change are the two main causes of displacement in Africa, which are due, in large part, to poor governance,

 

Noting also with concern that refugees and displaced persons often live in deplorable conditions and are deprived of their human rights and basic social services,

 

Believing that by putting an end to violent conflicts and ensuring the effective management of displacement in Africa, a significant contribution could be made to the economic development of the continent and achieving the objectives of Agenda 2063,

 

Stressing that eliminating all forms of violent conflicts in Africa could considerably reduce the number of refugees and internally displaced persons on the continent; 

 

 

HEREBY

 

  1. Condemns all acts of inhuman treatment of refugees and displaced persons;

 

  1. Calls upon the African Union to take all necessary measures to implement the programme on “Silencing the guns by 2020”;

 

  1. Also calls upon the African Union to cooperate with the European Union regarding the treatment of migrants who are prevented from entering in Europe;

 

  1. Invites the African Union to investigate the alleged trade of migrants in Libya and to take urgent steps to find a solution;

 

  1. Also invites the African Union to assist parties to the conflicts in Africa to resolve their disputes, to enable refugees to return to their countries, and to set up effective early warning systems to detect and prevent the emergence of new conflicts;

 

  1. Further invites African countries to take into account natural disasters in their national strategies to resolve the problem of refugees and internally displaced persons;

 

  1. Encourages African Union Member States to ratify, take ownership and implement the African Union instruments relating to refugees, displaced persons and returnees, and to adhere to the Global Pact on Refugees;

 

  1. Encourages African countries to implement policies on refugees, according to which refugees are integrated in the host communities;

 

  1. Urges the Pan-African Parliament to dispatch information missions to refugee camps across the African continent;

 

  1. Urges the Pan-African Parliament to collaborate closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in order to find solutions to the problem of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons;

 

  1. Pays tribute to Algeria, Rwanda and Uganda as model countries, with regard to the treatment and hospitality granted to refugees in the host communities, and invites other African countries to emulate these good practices.

 

 

 

Adopted at Midrand on 17 May 2019.

 

 

 

RESOLUTION ON THE AFRICAN UNION THEME FOR THE YEAR 2019

THE Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Pan-African Parliament’s Contribution Towards Finding Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa

 

 

PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT

 

Considering Article 17 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which establishes the Pan-African Parliament (PAP);

 

Considering also Article 3 of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament, and Rule 4 (a) of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament;

 

Welcoming the theme of the African Union for the year 2019, “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”, which is a clear commitment to effectively address the issue of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons in Africa;

 

Noting that Refugee protection is a central aspect of international, regional, and national efforts to protect persons fleeing persecution;

 

Recalling the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention (Kampala Convention) makes provision and sets out measures to prevent and eliminate the root causes of internal displacement, establish a legal framework for cooperation and assistance among AU Member States and provide for obligations and responsibilities of States Parties;

 

Considering that Parliamentarians are uniquely positioned to provide advice on concrete policies and national laws that could be adopted to prevent, respond to and/or resolve forced displacement;

 

In accordance with Rule 5(b), (c) and (d) of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament, which empowers the PAP to, inter alia, organize debate, discuss, express an opinion, make recommendations and take resolutions on the objectives and on any matters relating to the African Union and its organs, Regional Economic Communities, Member States and their organs and institutions;

 

NOW HEREBY RESOLVES TO:

 

  1. support the commitment by the African Union’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government, made at its 32nd Ordinary Session, to take bold and effective political leadership to resolve conflicts in Africa through policies and strategies that strengthen national systems and structures that prevent conflicts and displacement on the continent;

 

  1. Call on their Members to effectively contribute to the eradication of structural sources and drivers of conflict, including corruption, extreme poverty, gender inequality and other forms of discrimination, human rights violations, low political participation, organized crime, resource mismanagement, rule of law issues and youth unemployment.

 

  1. Encourage Members of Parliament to deploy their lawmaking and oversight role for the ratification of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention and the Kampala Convention without reservations that would take away the humanitarian substance of these legal instruments;

 

  1. Support the request by the African Union’s Assembly of Heads of States and Governments, made at its 32nd Ordinary Session, that the African Union Commission work with Member States and relevant partners to ensure access to education for refugee, returnee, internally displaced and stateless children in Africa.

 

 

Adopted on the 17 May in Midrand